Severing a joint tenancy

Sally Clark Blog

During divorce proceedings, it is very important that consideration is given to resolving financial matters. In most cases, the main area of dispute is about the family home. Whilst discussions will need to take place about what is to happen to the family home in the long term, there are also steps that can be taken, in the interim to guard your interest.

Where the family home is held in the joint names of both parties, it is often that they are ‘joint tenants’. Therefore, if one party were to die, their share would automatically pass to the survivor, irrespective of any Will or proceedings taking place.

In order to stop the automatic passing of the deceased party’s share of the family home to the other, you can sever the tenancy to become ‘tenants in common’. This means that the property is still owned by both parties, but if one party died, their share would not automatically pass to the survivor, but in accordance with their Will (if they have one) or under the intestacy rules.

If you choose to sever the tenancy, we would strongly advise you to update or create a Will, as without one, your share would still pass to the survivor under the rules of intestacy until the divorce has been concluded.

At Clark Family Law, we can give you advice and guidance on resolving financial matters, ancillary to divorce. We offer a free half an hour consultation where we can discuss the process in more detail. To arrange an appointment, please call us on 01423 637272.